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All Systems Go - The Deep South Spring Scrimmage starts 5-4-21

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#1 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 03:56 PM

Deep South Spring Scrimmage – 2021

 

The Spring Scrimmage this year will run for a total of 5 nights from Tuesday, May 4th to Sunday, May 9th.  As we had requests for a longer run and as Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day we are starting on a Tuesday this year as some may be leaving on Saturday to make it home for Mother’s Day.

 

As it has been for years, the Spring Scrimmage is informal - no registration fee (although there is a registration form).  There are no planned programs and meal service will be limited.  The Spring Scrimmage is even more laid back than the fall Deep South Star Gaze and the attendance is lower.  Typical Spring Scrimmage attendance is about 20 to 30.  While there is no registration fee, we do have a form that needs to be completed if you plan on attending and there are costs.  Costs primarily is for lodging at the White Horse Christian Retreat Camp.  Bunk space is available and those with rv’s or campers can stay in those.  Some may elect to tent camp.  There is also a day use fee for those who plan on coming up to visit and observe and then leave on the same day (night).  I have so far received confirmation/payment from11 people who plan on attending.  As registrations come in I assign registrants to the appropriate bunk house (if staying in one).

 

On the registration form all attendees are asked to indicate if they have had their COVID vaccination yet.  Those that have are assigned to the newer (and nicer) bunk house where I can safely fill each half of that bunk house to it’s capacity of 7 registrants per side (14 total).  This bunk house also has it’s own bathroom with 3 showers, 4 wash basins and 3 toilets.  For those that have not had their vaccination and who request bunk space, you will be assigned to a bunk house for those who have not had vaccinations.  I will not fill these bunk houses all the way, as I am trying to spread you out.  These bunk houses do not have their own bathroom.  You will have to use the separate bath house.

 

There are some smaller bunk rooms to which I have assigned couples who have already registered.  None of these rooms are still available.  Feel free to request one and if one opens up due to a cancellation I will notify you in the order that registrations are received.

For any staying in a bunk – bring your own bedding including pillows.  In the bathroom you will need to bring your towel, wash cloth, soap, etc.
For those in rv’s, campers and tents - You should have a place to plug in. I suspect we would be on our own for food.  Carol can do a snack bar in the evening – hamburgers, sandwiches, chips, etc.  Pay as you go.  If numbers are high enough we may be able to purchase a more complete dinner.  Prepare to fend for yourselves for other meals.  There are restaurant options nearby (within 2 to 4 miles) as well as a gas/convenience store where you can get ice and snacks.. Cost of bunks and rv space are $35 per night. We will have access to the main building and we do have a cell phone signal and we do have internet, plus the good skies and low horizons of White Horse.

 

For the Deep South Star Gaze last November  in spite of COVID we had a registration of 55 and to the best of my knowledge no one in attendance contracted or spread COVID.  While we are not requiring mask wearing please wear one if you are comfortable with it.  Let’s keep everyone safe.  We especially recommend wearing a mask in the main building.  If you are sick please stay home.

 

Note – the large, large majority of star parties around the US were cancelled in 2020.  Again in 2021 many have cancelled primarily due to state regulations at state parks concerning attendance limits and due to concerns at whatever venue they were scheduled to be held.  I suspect this will continue for awhile.  We will have room to spread out and enjoy the sky at White Horse.

 

Once again, one of the great wonders of the spring sky is the great globular cluster – Omega Centaurus (12 degrees up from here) which is well seen from White Horse as we have low horizons.  Our skies are Bortle 4, but very close to the Bortle 3 boundary, so for the eastern United States, our skies are dark.

 

Note – be aware that there is a “Day Use Fee” for those just coming up for the day and evening.  This gives you access to the main building, the bath house, a place to set up equipment and if a plug is still available, a place to plug in. There will be windows of opportunity to depart at night.  Light rules will still be in force and if you are planning on departing at night you cannot set up equipment on the Arena Field.  All fees collected are turned over to the White Horse Christian Retreat Camp.

 

If interested and likely able to attend for one or more nights, please let me know.  I can send you a registration form/liability waiver.

 

The Deep South Spring Scrimmage begins in 23 days!

 

Barry Simon, Director
Deep South Star Gaze/Deep South Spring Scrimmage

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Edited by BarrySimon615, 11 April 2021 - 03:58 PM.

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#2 BarrySimon615

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Posted 21 April 2021 - 10:55 AM

13 days now to the start of our Deep South Spring Scrimmage.  Still just a bit too far out to make any weather prognostications reliably but in about one more week we can get an idea of what we can expect.  We do the Spring Scrimmage no earlier than the 2nd half of April and no later than mid-May depending upon the moon phase to finalize our dates.  This is a good time for doing the Spring Scrimmage at this location because it is after "pollen drop" season has ended for us and for some astronomical happenings that I will outline further on in this post.  This year the Spring Scrimmage is a bit longer with a Tuesday May 4th start and a Sunday May 9th end.  Those that want to stay a day or two or three longer if the weather is good can do that.  Carol will be happy to take your money either for a bunk house slot or the ability to keep your rv, camper or tent on site.

 

The Spring Scrimmage is more informal than the fall Deep South Star Gaze.  There is no registration fee, all you pay for is your accommodations and your food (whether you bring it with you, buy it in the area at a store or restaurant or buy a meal on site (evening snack bar with burgers, etc.).  Last year when we were just learning how to be cautious with COVID we had an attendance of 9.  This year, with most attendees vaccinated I am anticipating an attendance of between 18 and 25 based upon accommodation payments received and conversations.  (Some admittedly are waiting to see what the weather will be doing.)

 

Under our skies which are on the Bortle 3/Bortle 4 border with NELM of 6.5/6.6 at the zenith we have pretty low horizons in all directions.  This time of year the Omega Centauri globular rises to a max elevation of 12 degrees to our south and is easily seen.  In addition this year our dates will have us under the peak times for the eta Aquariid Meteor Shower which peaks on May 5th at 9 pm.  Later the next morning when the radiant is up there will be a moon in the sky, it will be a 28% lit waning crescent.  (But the Moon does not rise until after 3 am) Zenith Hourly Rate for this shower is 60.

 

See this link below for eta Aquariid images -

https://www.google.c...iw=1536&bih=722

 

Questions, or a request for a registration form, let me know.  Our location is about 10 miles south of Columbia, MS and 20 miles north of Bogalusa, LA.  The event is held at the White Horse Christian Retreat Center.  Those in bunk houses will be segregated into bunk houses based upon vaccination status.

 

The image below is the Omega Centaurus Globular taken at the 2019 Spring Scrimmage.

 

Barry Simon

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Edited by BarrySimon615, 21 April 2021 - 11:07 AM.


#3 BarrySimon615

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 09:24 PM

Some have asked about the presence or absence of the Moon during our Spring Scrimmage.   The answer should please all - the lunar observers who want to observe a waning Moon, but you will have to stay up late or get up late, and those that do not want interference from the Moon.  Since it rises late, this should not be a problem for most of us.  

 

The attachment below illustrates what one can expect.

 

 

Barry Simon

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Edited by BarrySimon615, 25 April 2021 - 10:16 AM.


#4 John Miele

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 01:54 PM

Barry,

 

I'll be arriving Thursday and departing Saturday. Can't wait to see Omega Centauri again! It's been a long while!

 

cs...john



#5 MawkHawk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:37 AM

Hi. I know that this event is currently underway, but where is it held, specifically? Thanks!



#6 Bill Jensen

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:47 AM

Mark, I just googled what the OP indicated above, at the White Horse Retreat center, and found a map at a site referencing it.

https://retreathood....ristian-retreat



#7 BarrySimon615

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:54 AM

Actually it starts today, the 5th. We pushed the start back one day because of the weather. Thursday thru Saturday should be fine.

Location:
White Horse Christian Retreat Center
315 Hurricane Creek Road, Sandy Hook, MS
(20 miles north of Bogalusa, LA and 10 miles south of Columbia, MS

We sill have bunkhouse room, rv/camper room and room for tents. See DSSG.boards.net

Barry Simon

#8 MawkHawk

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:43 AM

Thanks, guys! I wish I could come down this year. Maybe I can in 2022.



#9 BarrySimon615

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 02:43 PM

25 of us here on Thursday night.  We did see and photograph NGC 5139  (Omega Centaurus).  See photo.

 

We also saw multiple strings of the Star Link satellites 3 times last night.  Quite a site.  See this:

 

Prediction Link:
findstarlink.com/

Plug in your own latitude and longitude data.

This video is a good depiction of what we saw at the Spring Scrimmage on 5/6/21

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgysWWwESfU

 

The weather has been perfect!

 

The photo was taken with a Canon 60D with an Olympus Zuiko 200 mm telephoto at f/4 for 1 minute at ISO 800.  (Special adapter to mount this lens to the Canon camera body.)

 

Barry

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Edited by BarrySimon615, 07 May 2021 - 02:49 PM.


#10 BarrySimon615

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 04:14 PM

The Deep South Spring Scrimmage for 2021 is now history and the weather cooperated perfectly. We had pushed the start date from Tuesday May 4th to the 5th as we only had 2 registrants for Tuesday and there was rainy weather predicted for then. The rain was gone Wednesday and we had clear skies for observing from darkness on Wednesday to Sunday morning. SQM readings at the zenith on the Sky Quality Meter ranging between 21.72 and 21.84 for the duration. This indicated a NELM of 6.5 to about 6.525magnitude, just into Bortle 3 territory!

Our attendance was better than expected at 25. States represented included Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Connecticut. Highlights included NGC 5139 as well as 4 passes of Star Link satellites.

 

Note - the Spring Scrimmage is the smaller spring time counterpart to the Deep South Star Gaze.  This coming fall our 39th Annual DSSG will be held from Tuesday November 2nd to Sunday morning November 7th.  That event will have programs, door prize drawings and a larger attendance.  At this venue we can handle an attendance of up to approximately 100 or so.

 

Antares, M-4 and the Rho Ophichus nebulosity - 200 mm lens at f/4 for 30 seconds at ISO 1600

 

Auriga clusters M-36, M-36 and M-38 - 90 mm lens at f/3.5 for 30 seconds at ISO 800

More pictures will follow.

Barry Simon

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Edited by BarrySimon615, Yesterday, 03:27 PM.


#11 BarrySimon615

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Posted Yesterday, 03:02 PM

Here are a few more.

 

The lower magnification Antares, M-4 and Rho Ophichus photo was taken with my 1980's Tokina 90 mm f/2.5 flat field macro lens with special elements.  Wonderful lens which is virtually chromatic aberration free.  30 second exposure at ISO 800

 

The other shot is a daytime shot on the field.

 

Barry Simon

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#12 BarrySimon615

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Posted Yesterday, 03:05 PM

More daytime shots.

 

Barry Simon

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